Happy 2017! It’s crazy how much faster the years fly by as you get older. I have no clue where 2016 went, but it sure did leave some lasting impressions on me. No matter what taste 2016 left in your mouth, I hope you were able to grow and learn. I know that 2016 was a hard year for some – across the world, in our nation, and maybe for you reading this. Every year is going to have some downs to accompany its ups, but for me, 2016 was a year that I’ll look back on with a smile.
Before I move on and begin to focus on 2017 and all the goals I’ve set, I want to look back over 2016 and share some of the things that I learned – some of the lessons that helped shape me into the woman that God is continually molding me to be.
16 Things I Learned in 2016
- IT’S OKAY TO SPEND TIME ALONE
I don’t know exactly when, but somewhere in the last 12 months I learned to slow down. I’ve benefited HUGELY from allowing myself to recharge and be alone. Sometimes staying home on a Friday night with a good book is just what the doctor ordered.
- IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO
This goes right along with the last point. Slowing down and saying no to going all the time helps keep me sane. Letting things go can be the best thing for you – mindsets, the wrong friendships, the opinions of others. Don’t be afraid to let go of the things that need to get lost.
- SAY YES
I know, I know… Really, Kylie? Yes. I’m talking about saying yes to God opportunities. Until this year I let fear have way too much control in my life and ended up missing out on some things. Don’t let fear or insecurities hold you back. Doing it afraid is better than not doing it at all.
- WHEN IN DOUBT, DRINK COFFEE
- I’M ALLOWED TO PUT MYSELF FIRSTThis was a tough one for me. It’s very natural for me to make sure everyone else is taken care of and that people are happy. It’s taken me too many years to figure out how important it is to take care of myself and make decisions for me.
- ALWAYS WEAR BLACK – AND DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR IT
- IN FACT, DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR BEING YOU (OR FOR THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY)We throw apologies around all the time, even when they’re not necessary. Let me tell you how freeing it is when you stop apologizing for those things that don’t require an apology. This doesn’t mean you go crazy and rub all of your opinions in everyone’s face. It just means you let it roll right off your back when someone makes a jab at something you love.
- TALK TO YOUR MOUNTAIN, NOT ABOUT ITIt does no good to spend your time whining and complaining about whatever obstacle you’re facing. Talking to that thing head on is much more effective, trust me.
- THE SAME POWER THAT RAISED JESUS TO LIFE LIVES IN ME
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” – Romans 8:11
LET ME TELL YOU – once you fully realize the power that lives in you (every single moment of every single day), you start to live a little differently and walk with confidence and boldness. It’s the best feeling ever. #thedemonbusters get it.
- SING ALL THE TIMEAny song, any place, and time. If you’re happy. If you’re exploding with excitement. If you need to relieve some bottled up emotion. If you need to laugh. If you can’t find the words. If you need to worship. Just sing.
- TRAVELI was really lucky in 2016 and got to go on quite a few trips with lots of my favorite people. Every time I travel I’m reminded how big the world is, how big our God is, and how small my perspective is. Get out and widen your perspective every now and then – you’ll come back refreshed and realigned.
- GOD’S IN CONTROLIn the hard times, in the in-between times, and in the great times, He’s still on the throne. He humbled me when I needed to be humbled. He encouraged me when I needed to be encouraged. Most of all, He loved me through it all. He’s good and I can trust Him.
“I’m trusting You have better plans I haven’t even dreamt of yet. I know that You are for me when everything’s against me. I put all my hope in You.”
– Trust, Hillsong Y & F
- I CAN ONLY CONTROL MY OWN REACTIONS
I don’t have to worry about the reactions or decisions of anyone else. I don’t have to take on the weight of the world – Someone already did that for me.
- LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR VOICE2016 taught me so much about the art of using my voice. It’s not just about finding your voice, it’s also about learning how to use it. I think it’s important to speak up for yourself and voice opinions, but doing this in the right way makes ALL the difference. I’ve learned so much about deciding when it really matters vs. when it’s better to let the little things slide. Grace and truth go hand in hand. Like peanut butter and jelly (or – if you’re me – almond butter and strawberry jam…).
- CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ONChristmas. 4th of July. Administrative Professionals Day. Just celebrate. Life is too short to not wear a different Christmas sweater every day for the week leading up to Christmas or to find a different bobble headband for any and every holiday. This year I’ve embraced that fact that I can and will celebrate anything and everything.
- FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE THE BESTWhen you find your tribe, keep them close. It might take you longer than you’d like, and you might have to learn a lot first, but eventually you’ll find them. Just remember that like attracts like. I found the best people when I got good with good and learned to love who I was created to be. Those people will love you for exactly those things and it makes life so good.
There you have it. 16 things I learned in 2016. I’m sure there were plenty more lessons learned – like how to put air in my tires without asking my dad to do it, or which highlighter is best for my snow white skin tone, or how to close my door every morning when I leave for work so my cat doesn’t get in my room and chew all my hair ties… But you get the picture.
I have a good feeling about 2017.
Let’s do this.